By Gregg Hennigan
IOWA CITY – A judge on Wednesday ordered a downtown Iowa City bar to pay a $500 fine for selling alcohol to a minor.
The fine is for a first offense by Studio 13, located at 13 S. Linn St., for an incident from last October.
During a compliance check set up by the Iowa City Police Department, a Studio 13 doorman gave a 20-year-old man a bracelet signifying he was 21 or older and a bartender served him a beer, according to documents on the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division that can be seen here.
The bar can appeal the decision.
A second violation within two years would result in a 30-day suspension of the bar’s liquor license and a $1,500 fine.
Three violations in three years would bring an additional 60-day suspension and another $1,500 fine. Four violations within three years carries an automatic revocation of the license for at least two years.
People sometimes say that the penalities seem stiff for selling to a minor, given that in a college town like Iowa City there presumably are a lot of underage people drinking in bars. Some of this seems to be from confusion over the difference between a selling to a minor violation and a ticket for underage possession of alcohol.
In the former, the establishment is cited. With a possession ticket, which is much more common and is known as a PAULA, the individual is cited.